1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Randolph Gordon Williams

Contributed by: Geoffrey Williams, on 2008-11-11

No portrait available
Rank
First Name Randolph Gordon
Surname Williams
Year of Birth 1888
Year of Death 1971
Regiment Essex Regiment
Place of Wartime Residence Walthamstow, Greater London

Randolph Gordon's Story

A group, which included my grandfather, tried to dig the occupants out when a shell exploded killing all but my grandfather and another soldier.

My grandfather enlisted in 1907 and served in Ireland, Burma, India, Mauritius and South Africa before World War I. He went ashore with the 1st Battalion Essex Regiment on the first day of the Gallipoli landings 1915, fought throughout the campaign and came off at the bitter end. He briefly served in Egypt before being moved in April 1916 to the western front, and on 25 October 1917 received a severe head wound causing him to be sent back to Stockport Infirmary, UK, for medical treatment. It was his 'Blighty' one as he never returned to active duty and left the Army in early 1919. As a child I remember regularly asking how he got the star-shaped depression in his right temple to be abruptly told that it was 'for not minding my own business' - for years I thought he was telling me not to be nosy. But shortly before my father died, he talked about my grandfather and told me the family history that the Essex Regiment had just moved into trenches during the night when it was heavily shelled and a dugout took a hit. A group, which included my grandfather, tried to dig the occupants out when a shell exploded killing all but my grandfather and another soldier. Both my father and grandfather served as Regular Soldiers in the Essex Regiment in two world wars; both were wounded; both were quiet men who would not talk of their experiences; both did their duty; and, unlike so many, were able to come home.

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